Hyacinth moments

Later this month we will gather for a retreat/workshop on Janet Stuart, the centenary of whose death is next year. She's one of our congregation's pin ups, and you can read more about her here.

The themes of the sessions at this month's event were circulated recently. One especially caught my eye - The Hyacinth Moment: Discovering Her 'Telos'. You have to be in the know, though, to make sense of that title, and understand that it relates to two moments in Janet's life.

The daughter of an Anglican clergyman, Janet was challenged, aged 14, when her brother asked her if she knew her telos, the end for which she had been created. The quest for an answer occupied the next seven years, taking her, aged 21, into the Catholic church, and then, three years later, into the Society. The catalyst for that, the moment when she knew this call came from God, happened in May 1882 in Regent's Park beside a bed of blue hyacinths. That year the spring was late - like this year - so in any other year hyacinths would not have featured. Thus, in subsequent years, Janet would see hyacinths, the tangible reminders of that moment, at different times, but never on the actual anniversary.

Thinking about that title led me to reflect on and recall my own hyacinth moments. There have been a few; not many, but enough, at significant times of my life. Some have been moments of absolute clarity, of knowing, just knowing in my depths - this is what I was made for (even if the precise "this" still needs to be given shape and form). Others were moments whose significance and meaning only unfolded and became clear after much time and reflection, and with the benefit of hindsight. All have developed and acquired layers of depth and meaning, and inter-connectedness with each other, as my journey with God has progressed... and will continue to do so.

And you... what have been your hyacinth moments...?